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Delivering intravenous diuretics in the community
Heart failure is a common chronic condition and people living with it can have periods of relative stability as well as episodes where their symptoms worsen and they require hospital admission and treatment (Chun et al, 2012), such as intravenous (IV) diuretics. Traditionally, patients who failed to respond to an increase in oral diuretics have been admitted to hospital for IV diuretics. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) funded a two-year project in 10 NHS organisations across the UK to determine if delivering IV diuretics in the patientís home or in a community by patients and carers (BHF, 2014).The programme was led by heart failure specialist nurses working within existing community heart failure teams and was built on existing evidence that, when compared to other heart failure patients, heart failure patients times less likely to be hospitalised (BHF, 2008). As IV diuretic services become embedded into existing services, community nurses have an important role to play in working in partnership with heart failure specialist nurses to support patients having challenges of delivering IV diuretics in the home.